Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Thirty-Year-Old Revelations

     I'm not one of those girls who has had her wedding planned since she was five.  I don't particularly care if I have a big wedding ceremony or go to Vegas/Justice of the Peace.  (Although, if I do have a ceremony, I have an idea of the dress, what song I'll walk down the aisle to and the first song my husband and I dance to.)
    I haven't been planning my wedding since I was five, but I have been dreaming.  What I've been planning since I was five is my marriage.  It's not one day that I've been dreaming about, but the rest of my life.  And suddenly, my one desire in life makes complete sense.
    What's my one true desire in life, you ask?  Well, that would be telling.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Day Four: VA -- CA - May 17 2011

Thursday. A million turns in AZ to 8W and on to San Diego; well, technically Santee. I drove the whole way this day. We left about 7am and arrived at Nana and Grandpa's in Santee at 4pm.

Arizona. This was the one state I had been anticipating the most. I don't know that I was as taken by it as I thought I would be, but it did hold it's own beauty. I liked the mountainous region where every curve revealed a new beautiful mystery. I was less impressed by the Sonoran Desert. The phrase "barren land" comes to mind.

Getting close to the point of needing gas, I stopped at one place that called itself historical and in the middle of nowhere. Got off the highway, took one look at the place advertised: "GAS/FOOD, said "I don't think so," and reentered the 8. I'm adventourous, but the I draw the line at Twilight Zone possibilities. Twenty miles down the road was Dateland (known apparently for its abundance of dates) with a Texaco, giftshop and Quiznos all in one place. Yea, Dateland.

That was our only stop until Santee, though once in CA, we did ride through three border control stations.

And the gas. All across the country gas (regular unleaded) was between $3.69-$3.99. California alone -- $4.09-$4.20. Ah well.

And here I am.

Day Three: VA -- CA - May 18 2011

Mom did all the driving Wednesday from Shamrock, TX to Holbrook, Arizona. I couldn't tell you how many hours she actually drove as we travelled from central through mountain into pacific time, but it was 7:30 am CST when we left Shamrock and about 3pm PST when we made it to Holbrook.

Because of all the rain, the country from Virginia on was so green until Texas. Texas looked like it could use the rain Mom drove in. Despite that, Texas was still so beautiful. I would have liked to linger there longer.

There were large, fluffy clouds over New Mexico and entering Arizona, we were greeted by two, formidable, pock-marked boulders; the next exit off 40W was Window Rock. Fitting.

Becuase of the lack of major or even semi-major cities marked on the AZ map, I decided it would be safest to stop in Holbrook for gas, food and lodging. No telling how far down the road we could make it before we found another place to lay our heads.

As I said earlier, we crossed two time zones this day: from central --> mountain (9:52 so nice, decided to live it twice), then mountain --> pacific. By the time we were settled in our room at the Holiday Inn Express, my body had no concept of the time. Flying is easier in this respect.

Driving the past three days my mind -- being my mind -- thought of several movies. Stand By Me everytime I saw a train, and driving through some of the flooded areas reminded me of the leeches -- hehe. I, of course, thought of the movie Twister whilst driving through OK as most of it takes place in OK. And passing the ditches along the road, I thought that if a tornado happened along, we could drive into one of the deep ditches along the road and take cover in the piping. In OK, I also thought of Where the Heart Is as it too is set in that state. And the movie Newsies driving through New Mexico: "Santa Fe, are ya there? Do you swear ya won't forget me? If I found ya, would you let me come and stay?...."

Day Two: VA -- CA - May 17 2011

Tuesday. Mom artfully drove us out of Memphis. A bit dicey. And we continued our jouney across 40W.

There were warnings that 40W was closed at exit 216 Brinkley, Arkansas. I'd spoken with Dad the night before about taking a different route. He was worried that Mom and I would encounter major flooding from the Mississippi continuing down 40 through the first half of AR. Once the internet finally connected, I looked at the AR DOT website and discovered they had a detour to follow. The detour would only add an hour to our trip, whereas Dad's route would add at least two.

I decided (since Mom was "just along for the ride") to take our chances with the AR detour. Good decision. It was apparent driving past the Mississippi River area where the flooding had been, but the roads were perfectly fine and most of the waters had receded. The detour that began at exit 216 in Brinkley was well marked, and at each turn there was an officer directing detour traffic.

Driving through AR, I again chuckled to myself at some of the place names listed on the exit signs: Lotawatah Rd. followed by a bridge that crossed Euphala Lake.

Then we crossed into -- is everyone ready? With me now -- Oooooklahoma! Where the wind comes sweeping down the plains.

There weren't many winds. Didn't seem like anything above a breeze disturbed the beautiful Oklahoma country, however, many of the trees were bent right, which since we were travelling 40 west, I'll venture to say the trees were bent north. I wondered at this phenomenon.

We ate lunch/dinner at an Arbys outside Oklahoma City, and again I seemed to have a knack for hitting the major city, in this case OK City, during the 5 'o clock hour.

Around 8pm we arrived in Shamrock, Texas -- a truck stop town. All the major hotes were filled, but one front desk lady advised trying the Western Motel. She said it was clean. The Western Motel had a vacant room, was clean, and the man at the front desk was friendly enough. But I watch too much TV and thought the room looked like a nice place to be killed in. It was nothing like my experience at the Blue Sky Hostel where I stayed for one night in Glasgow, Scotland, but for about an hour, I was paranoid my car would be stolen. Just too much TV working on my imagination.

Riding through OK, I listened to the Caedmons Call album 40 Acres. Some of the songs seemed relevant to my life 10 years ago when I first came to CA for 4 years of college, but listening now, the whole album resonates with my life like teh soundtrack to a John Hughes movie.

Day One: VA -- CA - May 17 2011

I don't remember much of what I was going to write regarding the drive from Virginia to California as I didn't have my Thought Book handy to write for part of the time, and I was driving the other part. Honestly, there's not much to tell either. It was a little boring driving across 40W and the trip was uneventful. But with the few notes I wrote each night to spur some memory, I shall try to write something semi-interesting.

The first day of our trip, Monday, May 9, we drove from Ferrum, VA to Memphis, Tennessee. Leaving Mom's house sometime around 8am, we first stopped at CVS to buy some last-minute provisions then began our trek down 81S. Dad was working at an Exxon truck stop just off 81, so I popped in for a minute to again say "goodbye." Mom and I took 81S to 40W, which we followed all the way to Holbrook, Arizona.

Somewhere in Tenn. we passed roadkill -- an armadillo. I'd never seen that before. I was amused by some of the town names and street names listed on the exit signs: Bucksnort (what inspired that delicate name?) and Loosahatchie (You loosa your hatch, eh?). We stopped for lunch at a McDonalds outside of Knoxville.

We were warned by mom's stepson, a truck driver who frequents 40W in TN that it was a mess of construction and road work. We didn't encounter any construction, only traffic in major cities like Knoxville and Nashville, the latter of which I hit at the 5 'o clock hour.

We arrived in Memphis and checked into a Best Western. Very sweet. It was huge. Had a kitchenette. And we got a great rate. In Memphis, we were on central time. While it was 8:21 pm in Memphis, it was 9:21 pm in Virginia.

Story of My Life - Apr 1 2011

Hurry up and wait.

When You Don't Know What to Say - Feb 16 2011

Sometimes we get to the point where we're beyond hurt feelings. It does hurt, but not in the same way. The hurt doesn't follow with, "That figures." Nor does it follow with disbelief. It follows with the understanding that the other person will never understand the fullness of his/her "beatings," so what's the point in feelling hurt?

My situation is I have an elephant's memory when it comes to some things and the other party does not. There's no point in feeling hurt. Can't discuss what the other party doesn't remember. What the other party doesn't see....and never will see.

Yes, I'm hurt and angry, but it doesn't feel fresh and new. It's not like pouring salt in an old wound or scraping off a scar and watching the wound bleed anew. I want to say it's more like there's been nerve damage, but that's not really it either.

Maybe I just have a fuller understanding of who the other party is now and am letting him/her be that. Even though it often ends in me once again being hurt and angry about something he/she'll never fully understand.

I'm just starting to repeat myself now. Perhaps I don't fully understand the situation either except that I'm beyond my feelings being hurt......................

Dreams - Oct 24 2010

Describe miserable: moving. Anywhere. Even from one room in the house to another. For very good reasons, I have moved from my lovely cubby downstairs (just enough room for my stuff) to the room 1/2 its size upstairs. I'm so tired I could cry and there is just enough room for me to walk to the bed. Why does tomorrow have to be Monday?

If I was married right now, I would be sitting on the front porch with my honey-love, drinking hot apple cider and watching the glow of my pumpkin. Oh love of my life, M'love, M'love. I wait in happy anticipation for the day of this simple pleasure.

Sincerely - Sep 30 2010

The love of my life is HOT.

Yeah, It's Kinda Like That - Aug 18 2010

descriptions of the "Fork Factory" from Andrew Peterson's North! or be Eaten (Book Two of the Wingfeather Saga)

Janner cleared his throat. "Hello." He waited for an answer. A few of the children glanced at him but kept eating without a word. "My name's Esben.[...]Just got here."
"We can see that," said the boy directly across from him.[...]"You'll find there's not much to talk about after a while."

Janner spent the first several hours thinking of his family [...then] about the books he had recently read. He recalled the characters from the stories, the settings, the themes of the books. But his mind kept slowing to a thoughtless sludge, a world where all that mattered was the hiss of the machines and the cutting of metal. Whenever his table of mishapen blades and forks was close to empty -- but never completely empty, to his great frustration -- a child appeared with another full wheelbarrow. Whenever Janner attempted conversation with the children, they never answered or met his eyes. He wanted to grab their faces and force them to look at him, to acknowledge his presence, to act as if they were still human.
He couldn't imagine spending another day in the factory. [...He] could feel his mind shrinking. There was nothing to talk about, laugh about, or think about, except the machines. Every child who crossed his path frightened Janner more, because he knew that if he remained in the Fork Factory for long, he too would forget who he was. His eyes would glaze over, he would pass his days in mindless repetition, never thinking, never dreaming, forgetting that a wide, bright world lay outside.

Needing a Hero - Jul 31 2010

     Criminal Minds should make their characters superheroes (not flying around in
tights or anything -- though a sharp skirt or worn cardigan helps). Base each team
member off a superhero -- turn their stories into something of myth grounded firmly
in reality. Each character could be a reflection of one of the famous superheroes --
tragic flaws and all. Lord of the Rings is a fantasy, mythic with flawed superheroes,
yet it is grounded in reality and has outlasted many others. (I admit my bias in
using this example as I am a total nerd for LOTR and most things Tolkien.)
      All the other procedurals (with maybe the possible exception of Without a Trace)
are after the crime has happened. There isn't usually someone to save; a moral to
uphold maybe, but the crime has already happened -- no one to save, no crime to
prevent. Hotch even said in one episode that he switched from being a lawyer to
being an agent in the BAU in order to stop the crime before it gets to his desk.
        The world hasn't seen many real heroes lately. No more wars that are fought for
"good." Not since WWII it seems. It seems that was the last "good" war with the last
"real" heroes. Give the CM characters the impossible moral questions and decisions
and for the love of all that is good and holy, have them choose to do the right thing. 
Yes, they make the wrong choice sometimes, but they know it and move on from it.
       I see Hotch as Superman. I don't know who the others would be. The team has
suffered so many losses lately and not many wins, and with the balance of the entire
CM universe about to be upset (with JJ leaving and soon after Emily Prentiss), it
needs something to bring balance back to the universe. CM will need a Luke
Skywalker to restore balance -- a new hope. Perhaps a slight shift could be made in
the show and more episodes (not all of them) could show glimpses from the victims'
points of view, how scared they are and then the team comes in to rescue them -- not
always, of course, because you can't always win.
        It feels like we're falling apart. We need a hero. CM -- they prevent the crime. 
They have the beginnings of mythic stories -- in the first season the team was likened
to King Arthur and the knights of the round table, and as was pointed out in the same
season (and episode) there are 7 on the team, 7 being a mythic or magical number of
completion. Each character has been through something of a hero's journey at some
point in the show. Now it can be stepped up.
       Going back to heroes in general, we've had heroes since WWII, but they've all
been shot down, though not quite silenced. John F. Kennedy. Bobby Kennedy. 
Martin Luther King, Jr. Hopes, dreams, heroes -- shot down. Destroyed by hatred (fed
by fear). But doesn't love overcome all? There is always hope. We need to know
that. Desperately -- we need to know that. 
       What started this tangent (which is really much more than a tangent in my life)
was a show on Biography about Superman. And the quote: "They can be a great
people, Kal-El; they wish to be; they only lack the light to show the way." (from Superman the Movie).

"You Can Fly" - Jun 2 2010

The Killers have a line that goes "The sky is full of dreams, but you don't know how to fly." I'd alter that just a bit (with regards to my life right now - the song is called "This is Your Life") to say, The sky is full of dreams, but I've forgotten how to fly. According to Peter Pan all it takes to fly is faith, trust and a little pixie dust. The faith I have, except for the trust, which I'm fighting a battle to learn. (For trust as you know if you've read Heb. 11 is part of faith.) But the pixie dust I've run out of. Anyone have some pixie dust they can spare?

Back to the Gypsy Kingdom - Jun 1 2010

I wrote this the beginning of May: it's based on personal experience and inspired by friends (namely the "bard queen").
The brave prince stepped off the plane. The crusader had returned home. Despite his anxiousness to meet up with those he loves most, he paused for a moment to draw a deep breath. Another adventure had passed, and now he was home. Though other adventures were no less important, no less significant, this crusade had lasted for a year -- a whole year in a foreign land away from so much familiar, never sure when would be the next contact with those he loves most. And now he'd returned home. Except Home wasn't where it was when he left his crusade. The Gypsy Kingdom had moved once again, which was fine, as long as their majesties were there as they've always been.
The brave prince stepped forward. Home. Home was waiting for him by the gate. A whole year. For one second everything -- his travels, his trials and victories, finally seeing Home -- filled him at once so he could hardly breathe. Then he released it and remembered the moment.
He'd made it to the gate. The prince being so tall did not have to look hard to see them, to see his precious Home craning, jumping up and down, prancing in place all in excitement to see their brave prince Home. A year. A whole year. And then he was in their arms. He looked at their faces, their beautiful faces: the warrior king, the fair and kind princess and the bard queen. Home.

Things I Think About on My...14 - Apr 12 2010

I haven't written one of these in a while. I'm not very happy at work, so I think about driving somewhere else -- imagining I'm driving somewhere else, being somewhere else, making enough money to live by myself.....Not much room to think about other things interesting enough to post.

There are some movies out I want to see. Out in the theaters. I got The Princess and the Frog from Netflix this weekend and watched it. Excellent movie. Had all the elements of what made other Disney movies from Lion King back great. What's out that I want to see: How to Train Your Dragon, Hot Tub Time Machine and Date Night. (I pass a movie theater sign that shows what's playing on my way to work if you're wondering how this is applicable to anything.)

Well, this one was kind of a downer. Will have to think of something funny next time.

Things I Dream About Before I Wake Up for Work - Apr 12 2010

I had a dream last night -- I dreamed of T.L.O.M.L. I was surrounded by him. He had his arms around me holding my hands. He was orchestrating my movements. I had just met him. We were goofing-off.

It was a silly, rather ridiculous dream, but it was mine, and it was him.

The Wing and a Prayer to San Diego - Feb 14 2010

 Flying from Cincinatti, KY to San Diego: normally looking down on the world below, the earth is a mixture of browns and greens, but today it was all white with veins of earth that looked like the etchings of snowflakes. Huges snowflakes layed upon the ground like puzzle pieces. The farther west we flew, the less snow there was. You could make out shapes in the "snowflakes" like you would in the clouds. (Dragons do exist in case you were wondering.) When the clouds blocked the view to the earth, they looked like marshmallow cream puff.
I've no idea what caused it, but I even saw a rainbow ring in the clouds. It was faint -- a yellow bullseye in the center, a yellow ring merging into a sliver of orange, merging into a pale pinkish-red. It was lovely.
I love rainbows. I've told people before about my never tiring of seeing rainbows in Ireland. There are so many, the novelty wears off, but not for me. I was like a kid in a candy store, "A rainbow!" Five minutes later, "Another rainbow!" Later that afternoon, "Look, a rainbow. Wow." Of course, by this time, I was talking to myself since the awe of the recurrent phenomenon had worn off for everybody else.
I thought of rainbows this morning on our drive to the Greensboro airport. The roads were clear of the snow that we had slushed through the previous morning. The sky was partly clear; I could make out some stars. Praying to God we could make it out of Greensboro to San Diego today (our flight was cancelled yesterday due to weather), I looked at the stars and said to God, "They're not a rainbow, but they'll do." Yes, indeed, there is always hope.

Back to the actual flight, there were times the plane was flying against such a wind, it seemed we were holding still in the sky, barely moving past the lines of the ground below.
The midwest, normally shaded with some greens, was only a palate of browns today. I could tell it was the midwest because of all the crop-circles, I mean crops, shaped upon the ground. The browns were paler where snow dusted the ground like confectionary sugar on french toast....Mmm... french toast with confectionary sugar sounds really good. Have to get me some of that....Anyways. 

Over another state, I'm not sure which one, the palette of browns in their various squares and circles and rectangles began to look like make-up compacts -- your foundations, your powders and your eyeshadows. It was like the department store beauty counter for giantesses that live up in the sky -- Maicints (pronounced may-cents; Macys for giants of course).

I saw another rainbow target -- fainter and bigger than the one before. I know how rainbows appear with water and sun, but I'd never seen a target-shaped one before today. 

Speaking of things never before seen, I even saw a brontosaurus walking amongst the snow of clouds. Clouds are amazing from above. It looks as if you could walk on top a pile of them, yet, if you actually stepped out, you would plummet through the wisps of air and whatever else clouds are made of -- water, electric charge, snowman poop, angels' snot, whatever. Skipping out onto the clouds is at once a terrorfying and thrilling thought. Oh to be Lois Lane and hitch a ride with Superman. ///Another digression: I love how even to his dying day, Christopher Reeves remained Superman. Forever Superman.///

I saw yet another target rainbow; this one was fainter still than the first and smaller than both the previous ones. This one was mostly yellow barely glinting any orange.

Oh wow, those snow-capped mountains, incredible, amazing. Well done, God. I was thankful for the eyes to see them. They may have been the Rockies, but I really couldn't tell.

After we passed the midwest and sailed on to over the southwest, there were tiles of various greens and browns and several tiles of purple placed about sporadically. Corners of the "paint" were worn off some tiles. Immediately following the small floor of tile was the desert, one vast sandy-brown landscape shaded with hills. And that was twenty minutes from our landing in San Diego.
/// The End ///

Things I Think About on My Drive to Work 13 - Jan 6 2010

Groundhogs Day -- a forgotten classic. "Ned! Ned Needlemeyer!" And a 180-degree spin to the camera.

Bill Murray is a holiday classic. Groundhogs Day. Scrooged (Christmas). Stripes (for all military holidays, like Memorial Day -- "Doo wah diddee, diddee dum, diddee doo"). Ghostbusters (great for Halloween or Christmas). SNL Halloween shows. Meatballs (to celebrate Summer in all its glorious possibilities). And didn't he dress up as a bunny in something?

Bill Murray - for every season and holiday.

And for those in the mood for just a wee bite of awesomeness (or a big bite considering everyone that's in it and how great they are) -- Little Shop of Horrors. "Thank you! THANK YOU!"

And if you haven't seen any of those -- what the cuss are you waiting for?! (Fantastic Mr. Fox for those keeping up.)

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Lovely Bones and Moments - Nov 30 2009

I'm reading The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. It's such a sad book. Sad like Flowers for Algernon. It is very sad, yet engaging. I wouldn't say it's a favourite of mine -- I'm not going to buy it. I'm interested in how the film will turn out.

That's why I'm reading it. Peter Jackson and his crew have adapted The Lovely Bones. The movie comes out Dec. 13 (I think). The book doesn't seem like it would make a good movie. Very curious to see it.

The movie adaptation of Flowers for Algernon, Charly, wasn't all that great. Although, it did have Claire Bloom whom I kind of enjoy watching. (She's in a lot of stuff including The Haunting.)

I remember the moment I connected wtih Flowers for Algernon. Those beautiful moments in a book or movie when you know exactly how that feels and for that wonderfully, horribly brief moment you transcend to this world where you're "gotten." (No feeling in this world is like that of being got.) Flowers for Algernon. Lars and the Real Girl. Those are a couple I remember. Those moments are so precious. And we cling like hell to something that was meant to last but a moment and is forever after tucked away into a crevice of our souls, always there, but never to be found on purpose. A moment only to be accessed by accident. All that's left is a faded memory like a carbon copy.

I've had a few moments reading my one and only's words, but perhaps that's all they were meant to be is moments; perhaps nothing more. But there is always hope.

A Good Way to Spend on October Evening - Oct 3 2009

1) Smores ("Some more what?"),

2) a full moon bright as a headlight,

and 3) friends.

Spumoni - Sep 27 2009

Spumoni, spumoni, spumoni, spumoni. I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you.
I love you, spumoni, I love you, I do.

Spumoni, spumoni, fun to eat and fun to say, just like.....uh.....Pupperoni!

Dear spumoni. I love you. You taste gud. Stephanie

Things I Think About....12 - Sep 15 (?) 2009

Darling Patrick Swayze. Rest in peace.

Not only is it a bad year for celebrities, but I feel like my childhood is dying too -- Michael Jackson, John Hughes and now Patrick Swayze. It's heartbreaking and makes me question.

Things I Think About....11 - Sep 11 2009

The weather this morning was beautiful. The air was cool and gorgeous, and the smell was Fall stirring. I wish I could bottle it and pass it around.

Things I Think About...10 - Sep 10 2009

Allow me to travel a bit into the weird. Well, into the "girl." Traveling into the mind of "girl" is dangerous, so read at your own risk.

I've found this guy....the only guy for me. He's not perfect. No. And it's not like he's just a male version of me, which would be horrible. But he's just....right.

I don't really want to be with someone who will think that it's cute or sweet that I'm into the things I'm into. I feel like I would be settling. Not that we couldn't each have our own thing, but I'd rather be with someone who enjoys a lot of the same things I do as much as I do so we can enjoy them together. There's nothing like the feeling of being "got" (from The Story of Us). Near the beginning of the movie Dan in Real Life, Dan (Steve Carrell) meets this woman Marie (Juliette Binoche) in a bookstore. She thinks he works there so she's telling him what kind of book she's looking for, just going on and on, I want this but not this, and this but not quite this.... Dan tells her that rarely do you find it all in one book. Well, that's like people. I don't expect to find everything in this one guy. I wouldn't want to anyway, I don't want perfection.

But it's like another quote from Dan...: "Is it frustrating that you can't be with this person? That there's something keeping you apart? That there's something about this person that you can connect with? .... and you know that if you could just be together, that this person would help you become the best possible version of yourself?"

This guy is a real guy. Has a name and everything. Not someone I've made up. I just haven't met him.

Crazy, huh. Yeah, I know.

Ants -- Who Knew? - Aug 29 2009

I bought this bug spray to kill crickets that come into my house. It is coming on September, which is crickets in my room season - HECK NO! I've already come across four, which is not acceptable. Anyways, this indoor bug spray lists all the different types of bugs (including crickets - die you big bulbous slick black suckers bugs creepy things that scare the living crap out of me and nearly cause me to have a syp -- a csy -- a psychotic brak -- a sp -- a psychotic break. I can't even type they upset me so much. Irrational fear, yes, but a nearly incapacitating fear nonetheless). Who knew there were sooo many different types of ants? It was like reading the "Poopie List" (which, if you've never read that, you should look it up online. There are many variations of it, all of which make me laugh b/c I have the humour of a six-year-old I guess.)

ANTS: Fire Ants (including red imported fire ants - who is the blowhole who imported them and where did he import them from I'd like to know - southern fire ants, California fire ants, tropical fire ants), carpenter ants, Argentine ants (faboulous dancers), pavement ants, larger yellow ants, little black ants (often lovingly referred to as "piss ants"), cornfield ants, odorous house ants, crazy ants (I'm not making this up), ghost ants (again, not making this up), white footed ants, acrobat ants (they are oftentimes the sideshow of a flea circus -- the "flea circus" bit I did make up), field ants, velvety tree ants, pharoah ants (they wear crowns, two different varieties, one crown for the northern kingdom and one for the southern), and red harvester ants.

Are you kidding me?!!

On Writing Horror - Aug 12 2009

So I had this story idea (well, not really story, it's actually just a scene, a blurb) while in my morning shower. The bug part really happened, but since I'm typing this, obviously (or is it so obvious???) the last part did not happen.

A woman is in the shower. She spots a bug crawling between the plastic curtain on the inside and the cloth curtain on the outside. [Author's note: perhaps might have to be two clear/plastic curtains for the sake of the later visual.] She places her hands on either side of the double curtains and smacks her hands together, smashing, crumpling the tiny insect to death. She finishes her shower, but before she opens the curtain, someone or something smacks and smashes her between the shower wall and the curtain. Pull to the outside of the shower and we see her blood and guts -- in particularly large spots where her head and her middle were. [Hence the thought of making both curtains clear or maybe both cloth b/c how else could a blood spot and guts seep or show through?] Of course, there will have been some of her matter flung on the walls where we could see it over the curtain rod.

That really is disgusting. What made me think of that?...But, I think I could be really good at writing horror if I let myself go there. However, I don't know that I could. Not without going the way of Emily Dickinson or Sylvia Plath (i.e. crazy raving flippin lunatic). Or become like the murderer in Poe's "Tell-Tale Heart" and start ripping up the floorboards screaming "It was me! It was me!"

Things I Think About...9 - Jul 14 2009

Subtitled: Chesterton and the Marathon

The new Harry Potter releases tomorrow! A local theater is having an H.P. marathon. I really want to go -- I would take off work b/c I am that big of a nerd -- but I have responsibilities for VBS at church tonight. But the marathon is the first 5 movies back-to-back, lunch and dinner provided, ALL for $15! You can't beat that. Then they're having an advance screening of the 6th H.P., Half Blood Prince, at midnight. Awesome! Oh well.
On an ironic note, tonight's lesson at Bible School is "Doing what is right."

I was rewatching a season 3 C.M. (Criminal Minds) episode last night, one with a brilliant quote from G.K. Chesterton: "Fairytales don't tell children that dragons exist. Children already know dragons exist. Fairytales tell children the dragon can be killed." (Hopefully I didn't mess that up.) It reminds me of this children's book I bought in London called You've Got Dragons. I can't remember who wrote it off the top of my head, but it's worth a read through.

Off to face another long day

Gadzooks - June 26 2009

"We are the C.I.T.s so pity us
The kids are brats, the food is hideous
We want to smoke and drink and fool around
(We're nookie bound)
We're North Star C.I.T.s!"

I watched Meatballs the other night. My summer has officially begun! By the way, if it is this hot and humid and it's only June...can you imagine what August is going to be like? Yeeks.

Death to Bubblehead - June 16 2009

I'm not a violent person towards people. Hostile, yes, but not violent. I hate seeing people hurt, and I don't think I could ever really hurt another person physically. But there is one person whose head I would just love to slam againgst a desk. Or stick her head in an open desk drawer and slam it shut repeatedly. That's horrible, really. But I do get a sick pleasure picturing it.

Things I Think About...8 - May 1 2009

The concept of the turn signal is completely lost on some people. It irritates me when people invite themselves over into my lane (like they think they're going to get somewhere faster); I don't mind this so much if there's a turn signal involved. I'd let you out of that parking lot you're sitting in -- if I knew which way you were going.

P.S. Sad how addicted to the internet I've become. I hate being without it.

Things I Think About on My Drive to Work 7 - Mar 19 2009

 I should be mentally preparing myself for the work day ahead, preparing myself for thinking kind thoughts toward my coworker who just jumps on my nerves and won't let go....Kindness, kindness....
I should get a dog and name it Emu. Then get another dog and name it Ewe. Then I could say, "Hey, Ewe!" and "Ewe, come here!" "Ewe,sit!" Kind of cheeky. Then I was thinking I could add a "y" at the end sometimes. You know, how we feel we have to add a long "e" sound at the end of a name, like my Stephanie, some people make "Stephie" [(
*@wretch&!) Oh, sorry, I threw up a little bit.] So I'd call the dog "Ewe-y" sometimes. But I don't like it as much. It might get confusing trying to call the dog while people are around. "Ewe!" Everyone turns and looks at me. "What?" So maybe Huey will work better. Settled. Getting a dog, naming it Emu, and another calling it Huey.
Emu and Huey.

Things I Think About on My Drive to Work - Feb 27 2009

 Is there anyone better than Louis Armstrong? The growls, the suave, the lightness, the sweetness, the soul, the rythm and swing. The Reverend Satchmo.

He's like the summer's evening when the sun is low in the sky, the bugs are humming softly, the air is thick and still. It's hazy where you sit with your feet propped up and the heat caresses your bare arms.
He's like the moonlit walk with an old friend you just met as the two of you talk and talk, though not a word is spoken, and you realize it's the best conversation you've had all day.
Louis is the perfect date. People ask that a lot - "What would be your perfect date?" Really, it's not about creating the perfect situation; it's about letting perfection become. It's just about being. That's what Satchmo does - he lets me Be.

That's magic.

Dinosaurs in Manhatten - Jan 18 2008

Does anyone else out there feel like they're not doing what they would really love because they're too scared? I.e., I want to be a writer, but I'm scared of it. Particularly a screenwriter, but any writing (excluding journalism, sales, etc) would be fan-flippin-tastic.

But fear invades.

Not fear of rejection. No, if it were that, I would have stuff I'd written but I wouldn't show it to anyone that matters as far as a career is concerned. No, I hardly ever write anymore. And that makes me very sad.

The key to being a writer is to write everyday. Forget the whole bit about "writing what you know" crap. Write about castles among the clouds, dinosaurs that travel the social circles of Manhatten, your very first birthday party -- just write.

I don't know exactly what I'm afraid of....excuse me....Of what I'm afraid, I don't know exactly. (Shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition .) Perhaps I'm afraid that if I write, I'll be too scared to do Perhaps I'm

I don't care what I write -- I'd write silly romance novels if it meant I could write -- and I'm so desperately (or is it despairingly) lonely right now, I can come up with some humdinger stories. Really, screenwriting is the way I want to go. I've always loved the movies and have wanted to give back to them in some way. At first I wanted to do that by acting, but I'm just okay at acting, and I'm certainly not pretty enough. But writing -- I'm a good writer. And you can be plain and be a writer.
So I should just shut up and write. Just shut up, grab some discipline and write. Write something everyday. That's what a writer does.

Talking like this, one might wonder how I ever get anything done. One might never believe I have a strong work ethic, nor believe how much I care about getting my job done and doing it right. But I'm so bored and complacent there (at my current job), it smothers any other motivations I have. Plus, I'm too comfortable.

I know what I'm afraid of...of what I am afraid. The unknown. Terrorfied. it's so much easier to give up, but I know in the end, looking back on my life -- before then even -- I'll hate myself for it. Hate myself for not trying. Oh, how I need a Chris Chambers in my life.

So, I should just shut up and write.

But seriously, am I the only one out there who feels this way? Anybody?

Things I Think About on My Drive to Work 5 - Dec 3 2008

Some Christmas songs are just ridiculous. Take for instance the Live Aid "Feed the world" song (you know, LiveAid - made up of every 80s celebrity and his mother). Lyric: "And there won't be snow in Africa this Christmas"... Because it's snowed before in Africa? I suppose we'll just call it a metaphor. Haha.

That song cracks me up every time I hear it on the local radio station that has Christmas 24/7 -- which they started TWO WEEKS before Thanksgiving this year! Are you freakin' kidding me? Is nothing sacred?

What also kills me is that there are a bazillion Christmas songs out there and yet I still hear "Do You Hear What I Hear" five times in an eight-hour period. And how many different ways can you really sing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," "There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays," "Lovely Weather for a Sleigh Ride Together," etc?

And people wonder why the suicide rate goes up during the holidays.

Nana and Grandpa - Nov 26 2008

I miss my grandparents - Nana and Granpa. They're in San Diego right now. They took care of me while I was in college. They had lived in Roanoke my entire life, my one constant, until I was about 16 when they moved back to San Diego.

My grandpa was in the Navy, so they moved around a lot. He retired from the Navy in San Diego, but they rented out their house and moved to Roanoke with my mom who had just graduated high school. Uncle David stayed in San Diego and married Aunt Leslie.

My Nana is one of the best people in the whole world. She'd make friends with anyone and is always so gracious and courteous. Well, she's more cantankerous now that life has worn her down. My grandpa had a pretty bad stroke four or five years ago and she's been taking care of him. They have a hard time, but she's still one of the best people.

I was never that close to my grandpa. He is - was- very disciplined, set in his ways. Pretty quiet and to himself. But he always made sure everyone he loved was taken care of. He's not as disciplined anymore since the stroke. He knows what he wants to say, but he has a hard time saying it.

Sometimes my heart aches with missing them. I am glad to call them mine.

Hey, Thanksgiving is this week!!! Food fest!! I am thankful for my grandparents, Ben and Jerry's minis (for just $1!), my animals, a blanket fresh out of the dryer, Goonies, crisp autumn weather, a good cup of tea, Oscar Wilde, that it's okay to be silly, board games, holidays off from work......I hope you find many things to be thankful for! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

On Courtesy - Nov 22 2008

I received a call from a client today -- I'd really love to tell you his name so you can watch out for him if you were to ever run into him, but it would be illegal for me to do so. He said he had paid a certain amount of money and received an a letter from his insurance stating it covered the same amount. I told him the statement went out before we received the insurance payment and asked if he'd prefer a refund or if he wanted his payment to count as a credit on his account. Well, he didn't want it to count as credit. So I said we would refund his payment to him and stated that the refunds for November were already done, he would receive it next month. He asked if we paid interest. I laughed and said, "No, we don't pay interest." I really thought he was kidding. Um, no. "You all would charge me interest." "No, sir, we don't charge interest." He didn't believe me. I told him I would send a request to refunds and assured him that we weren't messing him over. "Well, I believe you are." I responded, "I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree."

First off, I was infuriated at his implication that I was lying. But then, I hated that he'd been so broken down by the rest of the world that he believes everyone is out to cheat him. The whole conversation has been bothering me all day. Why can't people believe the best in each other? I refuse to believe that I've been living in a bubble, believing that everyone is capable of something good, that people don't truly want to hurt each other unless they themselves have been hurt. I choose to believe that love still wins out. That love is the strongest power out there. I told him we weren't trying to pull a fast one on him, why would he assume we were?

I'm going to go watch Love,Actually: even with all the bad stuff going on in the world, "Love actually is all around us." Maybe it will help me feel better. Movies have a lovely power of washing over the soul sometimes when we're down.

Things I Think About on My Drive to Work 4 - Nov 21 2008

A Dodge Avenger has recently come into my life. A black Dodge Avenger. (Not for me to drive. For my stepmom while hers is being fixed.) It's very sinister looking. I don't like it being in our garage. It has a look as if it were planning something...some sort of evil world domination. The black Dodge Avenger is going to take over and it's sitting in our garage! I suppose the name doesn't help. Avenger. Nor the color. Black. The Black Avenger. Maybe it's a dark hero - like Christian Bale's Batman. Sounds like a graphic novel character name. And it's in my garage....don't worry, I'll keep an eye on it. The black Dodge Avenger.

Today I Was the Fire Hydrant - Nov 18 2008

You know that saying, "Some days you're the dog and some days you're the fire hydrant?" Well, today, I was the hydrant. It was a dog eat dog world out there and today I was wearing Milkbone-flavored underwear.......and it's only Monday! It will get better, right? Thank goodness for my friends Ben and Jerry and chocolate cupcakes from the bakery.

Thankfulness - Nov 9 2008

I don't know that anyone besides me will ever read this, but I feel like I should put this out there.
I've been so thankful lately, thankful for all the little things: the wonderful fall weather; the stunning beauty of the trees changing color; Criminal Minds; a paycheck; God always provides for my needs; my cute dog who adores me; one of the cats lying up against me right now; the sparkling moon; Halloween; Thanksgiving is coming up...
There is more. This morning I sat down at the dining room table to eat my pumpkin pancakes left over from IHOP yesterday and drink a splendid cup of tea (I haven't had one that good in a while). I watched outside while eating my breakfast. There was a man who looked to be in his 60s, at least, walking along the side of a busy main road. I thought to myself concerned, "Why is he walking there?" It's not a place one takes a casual walk. A few minutes later, a police officer pulled up beside the man. I was so grateful for that police officer -- grateful that people still look out for one another.
During the sermon at church, one of the points was "Think on the things you love more than the things you hate." Pastor T.G. expanded the point with illustrations from his own life: He loves to watch the squirrels hop/run, then latch to a tree like a magnet; he loves spending time with his family, loves sharing Thursday lunch w/ his wife and daughter. But he hates traffic and he hates forgetting something, like leaving his briefcase sitting by the door when he meant to bring it.
It's nice to share w/ each other the things we're thankful for. Especially the little things. It's something I've been working really hard on lately. I'm a querulous person - I can always find something to complain about, but I've been trying to focus on the good things, you know, "Count your blessings instead of sheep," and then to hear that message today in a sermon about love really encouraged me.
It's pretty cold outside today. In the low 50s, the wind is blowing - perfect Nov. weather.
Driving home from church, I stopped at a red light about 10 minutes from my house. There was a guy standing on the corner with a sign reading "Need work for money." "Oh great," I thought as I pulled up beside him. those guys on the street corners (I don't know that I've personally ever seen a woman) always make me feel guilty and uncomfortable. Avoid eye contact at all possible costs. They just want money for drugs and booze. Most of them anyway.
A girl on a motorcyle right behind me said something to the man. He responded, though I couldn't hear what they were saying. Seeing the look on the girl's face in my rearview mirror, I could tell she was giving the guy a hard time, harrassing him. Then I looked at him. "Amazing Grace" was playing on the radio as I sat at the light. His focus being directed elsewhere, I looked at the man. Then I saw him. I saw the person - down on his luck or maybe down in life. All he needed was a little love. A little kindness. What I saw broke my heart.
The light turned green. I should have given him some cash, but then I remembered I had maybe a couple bucks on me. I was driving home to a delicious meal. I could fix up a plate for the man. I could get my cousin Josh to ride with me. He could wait in the car (so long a I wasn't alone b/c that's not smart when I'm a girl dealing w/ a male stranger, or any stranger these days). I could pop out of the car, hand the man the plate, not even have to say anything, hop back in my car and drive off.
That's what God wanted. God wanted me to love that man. To bring him a warm meal. But I told God, "You know I'm not going to do that." I told God "no." Then I wondered if I was just being foolish and sentimental. Hearing "Amazing Grace" on the radio - which was set to a station I didn't know existed, a station I happened upon on my way home from church -- and seriously considering bringing a man standing on a street corner a plate of warm food.
When I arrived home 10 minutes later, changed out of my dress pants I just bought yesterday into my new jeans I also bought yesterday, I knew I wasn't being sentimental - maybe foolish. But I was wearing brand new jeans I bought. I was standing in a warm house. I was about to eat good food. So many things to be thankful for. And I'd denied that man the same. Just this morning I was grateful once again for the kindness of strangers, grateful I had witnessed the cop stopping beside the old man to make sure he was o.k. Maybe it was the police officer's job to stop, but really, the cop could have kept on going right past that man. I was grateful for that moment. I was grateful I saw that, yet I chose to deny the man on the street corner the same.
I was glad during church to share gratitude w/ others and yet I denied the man the same.
It was probably coincidence that I saw that police officer stop and that a point in today's sermon on love stuck w/ me and that I heard "Amazing Grace" at the red light. But I don't believe in coincidence. Everything happens for a reason.
I tried praying for the street corner man, that God would send him warmth and kindness, but God said, "I sent you." And I told God "no." I chose not to be kindness and goodness to my neighbor; I chose to not be Christ to him.
So if you made it this far in reading, and if you find fault with God, don't blame Him who is Love, put the blame on me.

Things I Think About on My Drive to Work 2 - Nov 6 2008

The leaves yesterday were 20x more vibrant than they've been all Fall. The colors here in Virginia were as deep and bold as Ireland's green is lush and rich. It was spectacular. Like opening the door and stepping into Oz. Being ushered along by golds, burnt oranges, burgundies, plums, crimsons, fiery reds...all lit alive just for us.

Things I Think About on My Drive to Work 1 - Oct 7 2008

I lived in San Diego for 4 years going to school. Here is what puzzled me most: Why do so many Southern Californians have SUVs? Why? Plan on going 4-wheeling through the desert? Because SUVs fit so nicely in those compact parking spaces at Walmart? Or because they get such great gas mileage on the freeway?
I once heard the SUV is the new minivan. Fine. I'm sure you need the space to haul all one of your children.
A friend of mine said she needed the space to help her move all her stuff. Okay. But how often are you moving that it's more affordable to have an SUV 365 days of the year instead of renting a U-Haul? College is one thing, but again...are you kidding me?
I am baffled.

P.S. How do you hit every green light on your way to work? -- Have something you really want to write down in your notebook while waiting for the red light to change green.

Sigh - Oct 3 2008

So I learned how to get my shelves up, however, I am now lacking the tools. And I am dependent on boys for that, which means my shelves will get up maybe by irritating. Ah well. Heehee, I'm playing a game with our cat Gracie. Peek-a-boo. Haha.

A Big Sigh - Sept 29 2008

Tonight, I feel defeated. I bought these shelves to display some pictures and my tea sets and cups, but I can't figure out how to put them up. It shouldn't be so hard. I have to put the shelves up with the anchors that came with the shelves b/c don't have the studs; however, I can't figure out how to put the shelves up with the anchors - the instructions don't say how nor do they have an illustration that uses the anchors. And I was really excited about finally having shelves and finally having a place to put my pictures and tea cups, and being cool enough to put the shelves up all by my onesies.

Thank goodness for Big Bang Theory. Always good for some laughing out loud moments.